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Gamification: How playable experiences can help brands ace their Christmas marketing

November 11, 2022

Quick: When I say, “Christmas marketing”, what do you think of? Perhaps the elegant Clydesdale horse hooves in the classic Budweiser Christmas commercials, or how Coca Cola knocks it out of the park every year? Or maybe it’s the advent calendar, digital or physical, that you buy from your favorite brand each year. Whatever you think of, it’s likely a positive association, clever marketing and memorable.

Why Christmas marketing is so important for brands and marketers

Christmas, and Q4, is the most important time of year for many brands. Coupled with the economic uncertainty and rising inflation, brands need to be aware that their customers’ loyalty might be in danger. According to Ello Group, 30% of consumers say rising costs are impacting their trust in brands, with 22% sharing that their brand loyalty has declined over the last months.

Leading brands will continue to invest in growth and marketing during this time of uncertainty. For Coca Cola, “marketing spend will remain a priority for the business as it preps for a challenging 2023.” There’s no doubt that now is a difficult time for marketers and brands, especially as we are well into Q4, but if we look to leading brands, we can still see a very conscious investment in marketing and driving engagement.

What are playable experiences?

A playable experience means using game mechanics as part of your marketing and making the customer journey playable. Five game mechanics we see work very well for marketers is competition, challenge, reward, fun, and mirroring — or a consumer seeing how they compare to peers.

Here are two ways you can make your marketing experiences playable:

1. Use game mechanics in your everyday brand experiences

Using game mechanics in the everyday means that your audience will know to expect a special and engaging experience. That’s valuable during the holiday season, when your audience is busy and stretched for time.

You can apply game mechanics to what you’ve already planned, like running challenges on your social media platforms; creating rewards like random prize drawings; or using competitions to get your consumers interested and engaged, even to drive repeat visits.

2. Use the seasonal marketing to learn more about your audience

You might think that during this busy time of year, it’s not the right time to ask for consumer data and preferences. Think again. By using game mechanics, you can create a value exchange that’s worthwhile for your audience. That means you can ask for first-party data like sport preferences; preferred foundation shade; favorite colors; budget for buying Christmas gifts; and even information about a consumer’s children like their gender, age, and clothing preferences.

Capturing data and learning about your audience is a must-have for marketers. Gamification can be a marketer’s favored tool since it can create value for both sides – which means it’s more likely to deliver results. The marketer gets to capture the consumer data that they need. The consumer, meanwhile, has the chance to win a reward.

Make your Christmas marketing playable to get results

Playable experiences work during the holiday season because they enable you and your brand to stand out from the crowd, deliver memorable experiences that your consumers will love, and capture attention when their focus can easily be elsewhere. It’s time to put playable experiences on your Christmas to-do list and treat your customers to interactions they will love.

Want to know more about making Christmas marketing playable? There are four more tips and a catalog of brands that have used gamification to enhance their holiday campaigns.


christmas campaign